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The Last Stone Played - HERE BE SPOILERS!

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The Divine Right of Kings, however, is more about monarchs resisting the power of other social institutions. That may have more relevance in Rokugan than it does to our discussion of Japanese and Chinese political philosophy.

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Divine right is about the Church putting donimion on Kingships in Europe by asserting these claims of right of god to the masses, holding lavish coronations and advising European bloodlines and nobility. As a political theory, it needs a strong theocratic backbone. 

The brotherhood isn't exactly the christian churches but it surely preach the Rokugani Religion, of which the Emperor is the head. 

On Rokugan, this is a fact that the emperor is seen as a god amongst men and people are extremely pious. It would be a blasphemy to most to think the emperor isn't holy and righteous. And he has right to rule the land and give it to its vassals. 

That would mean the end of the legitimity of the whole caste system. Divine right is also the right to rule of all the Clans ruling families. 

Divine Right is already in place in Rokugan since its dawn, having been founded by gods. 

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Posted (edited)

Divine Right theory asserts that kings derive their legitimacy from God and are therefore subject only to God (that is, to no temporal power). This isn’t what we see in Rokugan or historically in Northeast Asia.

It is also worth noting that in Rokugan it isn’t only the Emperor who descends from Amaterasu but also all of the Great Clans. The authority of the Emperor is based on the decision of all the other kami (minus one) to recognize Hantei as their ruler. So a key concept of Rokugan politics is consent of (some of) the governed.

Edited by Manchu

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Nitenman said:

The brotherhood can't probably excommunicate the Emperor. 

 

7 minutes ago, Manchu said:

I don’t think that is a scenario that anyone in Rokugan would even conceive of.

I don't know if it still holds true in the new lore, but in the old setting the Brotherhood was broken down into several sects with their own interpretations of the Tao (including one that discarded the Tao itself with the motivation that "Shinsei didn't have the Tao to help him achieve enlightenment; why should you be any different?"), so I doubt that they could even muster the concensus to do something like that even if they had the ability. Also, wasn't the Emperor basically the combined Messiah & Pope of the setting, according to certain sects of the Brotherhood?

***

"We're excommunicating Pope Messiah the XXXVIII!"

"You what."

Edited by Mangod

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33 minutes ago, Mangod said:

Also, wasn't the Emperor basically the combined Messiah & Pope of the setting, according to certain sects of the Brotherhood?

 

I wouldn't say he's the Messiah, no. He's not seen as their savior, nor as someone whose appearance they're waiting for (why would they, when he's right there?). The Perfect Land Sect holds messianic beliefs; the Brotherhood as a whole does not.

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35 minutes ago, Kinzen said:

I wouldn't say he's the Messiah, no. He's not seen as their savior, nor as someone whose appearance they're waiting for (why would they, when he's right there?). The Perfect Land Sect holds messianic beliefs; the Brotherhood as a whole does not.

I would agree with Kinzen on this point. The Emperor is not a messianic figure. Arguably, the Emperor is also not the Pope. The best way to think of it is, honestly, franchises. Rokugan's Empire is a business model imported from Heaven. The Emperor is the head of the "Mortal Realm" branch of Heaven, and has franchised out the business model (AKA Feudalism) to the Clan Champions. The Great Clans do their own thing, but the Emperor gets to make brand-level decisions (new gods, new scriptures, being considered a person or not), which are then directly disseminated by the Imperial families and enforced by the Great Clans. It just happens that the Emperor gets to make these decisions because Heaven (as the business owners) say so due to a divine heritage.

The Brotherhood have a different, but equally vital job of basically being the business law experts who can advise the various levels of the franchises on how to best implement the business model of Heaven.

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Posted (edited)

So Hantei is Ronald McDonalded?

That seems pretty spot on considering how much of a clown the Hantei line has been made to look with these recent events......

And then you have the Hamburgler (Bayushi Kachiko) trying to take over.......

Hey does anyone know if the McRib is back yet?  

Edited by Ishi Tonu

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Tonbo Karasu said:

Those of us who are British but not English like to call them the British Civil Wars or Wars of the Three Kingdoms these days, since it was not restricted to just England.

We do? 🤨. Since when?

Unless they have radically shifted the nomenclature since I was in school...

Anyway...

...so are we saying that most people in Rokugan will be totally fine with the Emperor passing of Sotorii?  Birthright doesn’t matter?  Is there precedence for this?

Edited by Kani Kantai

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42 minutes ago, Ishi Tonu said:

So Handel is Ronald McDonalded?

Handel?  Ronald McDonalded?  I'm really lost.

9 minutes ago, Kani Kantai said:

We do? 🤨. Since when?

I'm not sure since when, but there was a bit of a thing made of it during a 'making of Britain' thing on Radio 4, pointing out that the whole thing go started in Scotland, when the King tried to usurp the powers of the Church, and a significant amount of fighting took place in Ireland.  Here's the wiki page.

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Posted (edited)

If Kachiko is the Hamburglar then Altansarnai is Grimace.

There are no Northeast Asian analogs to Western ecclesiastical authority. To the extent that Divine Right has any application in Rokugan it would be the Hantei asserting that his authority is not subject to review or protest by anyone in the Empire, whether the Great Clans or who/whatever else. This seems to be an assumption of day-to-day culture and politics in Rokugan but it is fundamentally untrue. The Hantei Clan reigns over the other Great Clans because of their traditional consent to this arrangement, which has a quasi-mythical basis.

Divine Right, by the way, would be in stark opposition to the Chinese concept of the Mandate, which holds that the Emperor is indeed liable for any of his moral and practical failings as a political leader. The further implication would be that if the society of the Empire is disturbed then something is wrong with the way it is governed and, ultimately, with who is governing it. We know that this theory is present, but quite unpopular among samurai, in Rokugan.

Edited by Manchu

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, Manchu said:

The authority of the Emperor is based on the decision of all the other kami (minus one) to recognize Hantei as their ruler. So a key concept of Rokugan politics is consent of (some of) the governed.

That's a fair point. On the other hand, though, the whole 'authority of the ancestors' and the fact that the Kami are set above 'normal' humans even if you're a direct straight-line descendant therefrom does mean that said consent has already been given on your behalf and you're not allowed to revoke it.

16 hours ago, Nitenman said:

Divine Right is already in place in Rokugan since its dawn, having been founded by gods. 

Well, essentially, yes. As noted, that to a degree applies to the heir of any kami (which is part of why, much to the mantis' dismay, the badge of "major clan" remains so exclusive), but fundamentally, unlike the part-history-part-legend that various monarchies in the real world may use, in Rokugan we 'know' in a third-party-narrator-omniscient fashion that that's exactly what happened

Divine heritage is almost a non-argument because it's a real thing. Which, I guess, is exactly why 'Kolat' is such a reviled label slapped on sects who oppose this view by the people who are aware of such things.

10 hours ago, Kani Kantai said:

We do? 🤨. Since when?

Unless they have radically shifted the nomenclature since I was in school...

Essentially, there's about three or four seperate distinct wars in the same period which all get lumped together, only one of which was what's called "The English Civil War". Not that that's the only civil war in the history of England in the first place (The Anarchy  and The Wars of the Roses were pretty much all-English affairs, even if you ignore all the various inter-kingdom squabbles, skirmishes and outright invasions between the British Isle's component nations)

10 hours ago, Kani Kantai said:

...so are we saying that most people in Rokugan will be totally fine with the Emperor passing of Sotorii?  Birthright doesn’t matter?  Is there precedence for this?

Birthright does matter. But if he were to pass over Sotorii to another Hantei who would be a perfectly legitimate Emperor if Sotorii wasn't there (if, say, he'd died in childhood) then it's merely a question of 'can the Emperor remove someone from authority' - since all mortal authority (in theory) flows from the Emperor, the answer must be yes. 

At the same time, the Emperor is abdicating precisely because he feels his judgement is becoming questionable (because with his eyesight he can't read reports directly and can't confirm an edict says what he wants it to)....which potentially undermines that argument of infalibility......

 

1 hour ago, Manchu said:

This seems to be an assumption of day-to-day culture and politics in Rokugan but it is fundamentally untrue.

As with many constitutional monarchs today, it seems to be a case of 'the Emperor has theoretically unlimited power which the clans are happy to let them keep provided they are careful never to actually use it'

Fully understanding what the trappings of that authority means is part of why Hantei Jodan was more impressed by/scared of Shori than Kunshu. 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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3 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

As with many constitutional monarchs today, it seems to be a case of 'the Emperor has theoretically unlimited power which the clans are happy to let them keep provided they are careful never to actually use it'

That is debatable, since the Steel Chrysanthemum is a thing in this timeline too, though we don’t know if the details have changed.

Normally if a ruler wanted to attack a powerful group at least a similarly powerful group would need to benefit, so the ruler would still have supporters. However in this case his actions actively hurt 5 out of 6 clans plus the Imperial families and he still retained his power.

I know he was eventually killed, but I think it wasn’t because he abused his power, but because he was behaving dishonourably.

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4 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

Fully understanding what the trappings of that authority means is part of why Hantei Jodan was more impressed by/scared of Shori than Kunshu. 

Daisotsu too. He even ridiculed Shahai for falling for Kunshu. Just sayin' :ph34r:.

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23 hours ago, AtoMaki said:

I dunno if it actually makes it worse in this case. Just because Kaede has a few stories over Mitsuko it doesn't necessarily mean that Mitsuko shouldn't have had her own stories to give more weight to her death and haver her something more than just meat for the grinder. 

... I mean, you could make that argument about any minor character in a narrative. Not everybody can be a protagonist.

As an example look at Hotomi's brother. He just exists to have been killed and give pathos to his sister. The only difference between him and Mitsuko is that his death is backstory and her's happened 'on camera'.

6 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

Which, I guess, is exactly why 'Kolat' is such a reviled label slapped on sects who oppose this view by the people who are aware of such things.

The landed aristocracy can say whatever they like. We'll keep fighting for an enlightened meritocracy by any means necessary.

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3 minutes ago, shineyorkboy said:

... I mean, you could make that argument about any minor character in a narrative. 

 And I would too! The only exception being Arasou because his kind of "mystical" status is important for Tsuko's arc. 

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it's going to be very interesting for the other characters not in the know.  If Jodan's first Edict and the Forged Edict come out--both identifying a Scorpion regent--there's going to be major confusion and doubt as to where the Mandate of Heaven presides.  Even worse, until that's sorted out no one really could attack or kill either son.  Funny enough, the only people that might have a chance of "sorting that out" are dealing with the screwed up issues with the kami (among other things). 

Starting sides for this will probably be:

Daisetsu * Dragon, Lion (Akodo), Shoju Scorpion

Sotori * Crane, Lion (Matsu), Kachiko Scorpion, Unicorn

Phoenix will be sitting out for a bit because of the imbalance. Minor Clans will have major opportunities this Act.  This part of the story is probably going to last for quite some time because of all the potential for conflict.

We still have yet to hear more about Tadaka and Yori which will probably have all sorts of Shadowlands shenanigans before things get taken to the next level.

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1 hour ago, NeoSamurai said:

it's going to be very interesting for the other characters not in the know.  If Jodan's first Edict and the Forged Edict come out--both identifying a Scorpion regent--there's going to be major confusion and doubt as to where the Mandate of Heaven presides.  Even worse, until that's sorted out no one really could attack or kill either son.  Funny enough, the only people that might have a chance of "sorting that out" are dealing with the screwed up issues with the kami (among other things). 

Starting sides for this will probably be:

Daisetsu * Dragon, Lion (Akodo), Shoju Scorpion

Sotori * Crane, Lion (Matsu), Kachiko Scorpion, Unicorn

Phoenix will be sitting out for a bit because of the imbalance. Minor Clans will have major opportunities this Act.  This part of the story is probably going to last for quite some time because of all the potential for conflict.

We still have yet to hear more about Tadaka and Yori which will probably have all sorts of Shadowlands shenanigans before things get taken to the next level.

I think Unicorn will be with Daisetsu because of Shahai... if the know that she in love with him.

If not, they will be scared that anything bad could happen to her, so they will choose who will hurt her less

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1 hour ago, NeoSamurai said:

it's going to be very interesting for the other characters not in the know.  If Jodan's first Edict and the Forged Edict come out--both identifying a Scorpion regent--there's going to be major confusion and doubt as to where the Mandate of Heaven presides.  Even worse, until that's sorted out no one really could attack or kill either son.  Funny enough, the only people that might have a chance of "sorting that out" are dealing with the screwed up issues with the kami (among other things). 

The thing is, there's no need for a Forged Edict in this situation. Jodan, Hantei XXXVIII, sadly passed in his sleep. It is known that Sotorii is his heir, and Sotorii has already completed his gempukku, so he wouldn't even need a regent. With Kachiko's plan, all would proceed exactly as it normally would have when Jodan died if he hadn't written his edict. If the edict never sees the light of day, those not "in the know" would be none the wiser aside from maybe some speculation about how suddenly the emperor passed and how closely Kachiko is already clinging to his heir. 

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And that’s where it all comes down to Shoju. Because if they just go ahead with ‘business as usual’ and crown Sotorii, Toturi if he lives is going to speak up. Seeing as how he likely just got jumped by Aramoro, the whole thing will scream Scorpion Coup and Shoju will have to choose between his clan & the Empire. Given his thoughts around the koi pond, I can see him going all-in on supporting Sotorii, then losing on purpose. Let the Scorpion get kicked around so that they can be underestimated again. 

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3 hours ago, Doji Hyōkin said:

And that’s where it all comes down to Shoju. Because if they just go ahead with ‘business as usual’ and crown Sotorii, Toturi if he lives is going to speak up.

I'm pretty sure that not speaking up (or at least not achieving a whole lot with it) is Toturi's shtick now. This happened with Arasou, Tsuko, Kaede, Sotorii, the Emps, so I think he would do it now too. I actually can't remember a single case in the new story where Toturi stood up for himself. 

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Honestly I'm happy to not speculate on what might happen and just enjoy the ride... so much volatility in the plot right now it feels like just about anything can happen, and it's great. 

My one request is that Kaede gets a moment to make crystal clear to Aramoro why you don't f--k with a pregnant woman's family. 

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